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Letters to the Editor Issue 134

by Letters(more info)

listed in letters to the editor, originally published in issue 134 - April 2007

Editorial in March Issue 133

Just wanted to say that your editorial in the current issue is just splendid – it brought tears to my eyes! It is just a brilliant summary of how I and most of my friends feel [about wars and bloodshed] these days but could not put into words so beautifully. I shall make sure they see it. Your final paragraph sums it all up so well.

Sylvia M Baker, Administrator
Aromatherapy Trade Council

No 10 Petition to Ban Mercury in Amalgam Dental Fillings and Vaccines

I know that you covered the issue of mercury in fillings and vaccines a number of times over the years. One of your articles actually led me to the Munro Hall Clinic [] which had a massive impact on my health. I’m one of the DAMS co-ordinators in the UK and I have just got a petition to ban mercury in fillings and vaccines on the Number 10 website and I wondered if you could publicize it in any way?
The petition was created by Michele Payne and reads:
‘We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to ban the use of mercury in amalgam dental fillings and vaccines.’

Many Thanks
Michele Payne


No Deaths from Vitamins: Poison Control Statistics Prove Supplements’ Safety

There was not even one death caused by vitamins in 2005, according to the most recent statistics available from the US National Poisoning and Exposure Database. The 129-page annual report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers published in the journal Clinical Toxicology1 shows zero deaths from multiple vitamins; zero deaths from any of the B vitamins; zero deaths from vitamins A, C, D, or E; and zero deaths from any other vitamin.

Over half of the US population takes daily vitamin supplements. Even if each of those people took only one single tablet per day, that makes 145,000,000 individual doses per day, for a total of over 53 billion doses annually. Since many persons take additional vitamins, the numbers are considerably higher, and the safety of vitamins all the more remarkable.


1.    Lai MW, Klein-Schwartz W, Rodgers GC et al. 2005 Annual Report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poisoning and Exposure database. Clin Toxicol (Phila). 44(6-7): 803-932. 2006. Free download from Vitamins statistics are found in Table 22, towards the end of the report.

For Further Reading

American Association of Poison Control Centers

Further Information
Andrew W. Saul, Editor


Orthomolecular Medicine News Service <>

Response to Therapists to be Regulated Out of Business

Under the headline Therapists to be Regulated out of Business (letters, PH March Issue 133) you published a number of claims about the development of the regulation of Complementary Healthcare and about the likely outcome of the regulatory process. Much of what was written was, at best, inaccurate, and, at worst, misleading.

Since 2000, The Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health has been working with complementary healthcare professions as they sought to put in place the structures necessary for voluntary self-regulation. The speed at which this has happened has been set by the professions themselves. The initial phase of this work was funded by the King’s Fund, but from 2005 the Department of Health provided the funding, as part of a three-year plan. To suggest this happened because the DH was ‘impatient’ is totally wrong. Regulation, whether statutory or voluntary, is about providing the public with access to safe and competent practitioners. The DH recognised it could facilitate this access by encouraging complementary healthcare professions to put in place robust systems of voluntary self-regulation through the Foundation’s regulation programme.

While it is true that initially, following the recommendations contained in the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee Report published in 2000, the emphasis was on single therapy regulation, it has now become clear that the number of regulatory bodies should be minimized. This is made evident in the Government White Paper published on 21 February 2007, entitled Trust, Assurance and Safety. Conscious of this trend, the Foundation had invited those complementary healthcare professions taking part in its regulation programme to participate in a group set up to establish an agreed system of federal regulation. The form this might take will be decided by the group itself, but it is likely that there will be an overarching regulatory council supported by therapy-specific groups, each charged with maintaining the identity and core values of the participating complementary healthcare professions.

The Foundation is not aware of any suggestion that the DH “has made it clear it will spend large sums of money educating the public to only use registered practitioners” or that statutory regulation is a possibility, although there are some complementary healthcare professions that are in favour of statutory regulation.
The idea that a federal register would restrict client choice is facile; on the contrary, registrants would demonstrate that, no matter what therapy they practised, the public would have access to practitioners prepared to be judged against clear and transparent national standards on competence and ethics. Choice would be enhanced – safe and competent practitioners versus practitioners that might or might not measure up.

Mention is made of “therapists’ own Regulatory Councils being excluded from the process” and again, this is completely wrong. These Councils exist because the Foundation has helped to fund their work. These Councils have been invited to be involved in the consideration of a unified approach to regulation. Given these facts, it is difficult to understand how any complementary healthcare profession that is part of the Federation’s programme could be considered to have been excluded and therefore, how their profession could have been seriously damaged.

Involvement in the Foundation’s regulation programme is purely voluntary, participation in establishing a system of federal (i.e. unified) regulation is purely voluntary and those taking part in the work of the Federal Working Group have not had to commit to accepting the results of that work – they are free to walk away from the outcomes if that is the decision of their profession.

Regulation is about safeguarding interests, but not, as your correspondent implies, the interests of government against those of complementary therapies. The introduction of a robust, easily understood system of voluntary self-regulation for the complementary healthcare professions will protect both the interests of the public and the livelihoods of committed practitioners.

Healthy debate is to be encouraged but it must be informed by accurate information and balance.

Ian Cambray-Smith, The Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health

Vitamins Fight Disease: Nutrients Effective but Overlooked

Vitamin supplementation fights disease. Although medical research has repeatedly shown this, such has not always been the case in the news media. Recently, however, the popular press is picking up more of the good news: Nutritional therapy is cheaper, safer, and often more effective than pharmaceutical drugs.

Niacin Fights Cardiovascular Disease
The New York Times just reported1 that inexpensive vitamin B-3, niacin, “can increase HDL as much as 35 percent when taken in high doses, usually about 2,000 milligrams per day. It also lowers LDL… (and) triglycerides as much as 50 percent.” The Times quoted Steven E Nissen MD, President of the American College of Cardiology, as saying: “Niacin is really it. Nothing else available is that effective.”

Niacin was first used to successfully lower serum cholesterol in 1955.2 Since then, placebo-controlled studies have confirmed that niacin prevents second heart attacks, and niacin also reduced strokes. One study showed that after 15 years, men taking niacin had an 11 percent lower death rate. Although a warm ‘flush’ is a common side effect of niacin, the vitamin is safer than any drug.

Vitamin D Prevents Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer
The Associated Press reports3 that “An abundance of vitamin D seems to help prevent multiple sclerosis, according to a study in more than 7 million people that offers some of the strongest evidence yet of the power of the ‘sunshine vitamin’ against MS.”

Multiple sclerosis is known to be more common among those persons living in northern latitudes. But, says Harvard School of Public Health’s Dr. Alberto Ascherio, “This is the first large prospective study where blood levels are measured… (providing) much stronger evidence.”4,5

AP adds that “Other studies have linked high levels of vitamin D in the blood to lower risks of a variety of cancers.”

Vitamin E Extends Lifespan
People who have vitamin E in their bodies live longer, according to a 19-year study of 29,092 men. National Cancer Institute researchers concluded that “Higher circulating concentrations of alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) within the normal range are associated with significantly lower total and cause-specific mortality in older male smokers.”6 Vitamin E was found to reduce death from all causes, including cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Vitamin C Prevents Stomach Cancer
“One of the largest prospective analyses of the association of plasma and dietary vitamin C levels with
gastric cancer risk ever performed on Western European populations”7 indicates that having more vitamin C in your blood plasma reduces your risk of stomach cancer.

Vitamin Safety
And best of all, vitamins are safe. There is not even one death per year from vitamin supplementation.8 Nutritional Medicine is also known as Orthomolecular Medicine.
Linus Pauling defined Orthomolecular Medicine as “the treatment of disease by the provision of the optimum molecular environment, especially the optimum concentrations of substances normally present in the human body.” Orthomolecular medicine uses safe, effective nutritional therapy to fight illness. For more information:


1.    Mason M. An Old Cholesterol Remedy is New again. NY Times. 23/health/23consume.html?_r=1&oref=slogin January 23, 2007.
2.    Altschul R, Hoffer A & Stephen JD: Influence of Nicotinic Acid on Serum Cholesterol in Man. Arch Biochem Biophys. 54: 558-559. 1955.
3.    ‘Sunshine Vitamin’ Protects Against MS: Huge Study Suggests Vitamin D Reduces Risk of Debilitating Disease. The Associated Press. Dec 19 2006.
4.    Munger KL, Levin LI, Hollis BW, Howard NS, Ascherio A. Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D Levels and Risk of Multiple Sclerosis. JAMA. 296(23): 2832-8. Dec 20 2006.
5.    Munger KL, Zhang SM, O’Reilly E, Hernan MA, Olek MJ, Willett WC, Ascherio A. Vitamin D Intake and Incidence of Multiple Sclerosis. Neurology. 62(1): 60-5. Jan 13 2004.
6.    Wright ME, Lawson KA, Weinstein SJ, Pietinen P, Taylor PR, Virtamo J, Albanes D. Higher Baseline Serum Concentrations of Vitamin E are Associated with Lower Total and Cause-Specific Mortality in the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 84(5): 1200-7. Nov 2006.
7.    Jenab M, Riboli E, Ferrari P, et al. Plasma and Dietary Vitamin C Levels and Risk of Gastric Cancer in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC-EURGAST). Carcinogenesis. 27(11): 2250-7. Nov 2006.
8.    American Journal of Emergency Medicine. Vol. 22, No. 5. Annual%20Report%202003.pdf . September 2004.

Further Information

The peer-reviewed Orthomolecular Medicine News Service is a non-profit and non-commercial informational resource.
W Saul Editor:


Orthomolecular Medicine News Service


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